1994 Football League Cup Final

The 1994 Football League Cup Final took place on 27 March 1994 at the old Wembley Stadium. It was contested between Manchester United and Aston Villa. Aston Villa won 3–1, with one goal from Dalian Atkinson and two from Dean Saunders, to claim their fourth League Cup final victory; Manchester United's goal was scored by Mark Hughes, before Andrei Kanchelskis was sent off for handball. Manchester United won both the Premier League and FA Cup that season, the result denying United a domestic treble, while Villa finished 10th in the Premier League.

1994 Football League Cup Final
Old Wembley Stadium (external view)
Event1993–94 Football League Cup
Aston Villa Manchester United
3 1
Date27 March 1994
VenueWembley Stadium, London
Man of the MatchKevin Richardson (Aston Villa)
RefereeKeith Cooper (Glamorgan)

Road to Wembley

Aston Villa

Aston Villa Round Manchester United
Birmingham City 0–1 Aston Villa Round 2 Stoke City 2–1 Manchester United
Aston Villa 1–0 Birmingham City Manchester United 2–0 Stoke City
Aston Villa won 2–0 on aggregate Manchester United won 3–2 on aggregate
Sunderland 1–4 Aston Villa Round 3 Manchester United 5–1 Leicester City
Arsenal 0–1 Aston Villa Round 4 Everton 0–2 Manchester United
Tottenham Hotspur 1–2 Aston Villa Round 5 Manchester United 2–2 Portsmouth
Portsmouth 0–1 Manchester United
Tranmere Rovers 3–1 Aston Villa Semi-finals Manchester United 1–0 Sheffield Wednesday
Aston Villa 3–1 Tranmere Rovers Sheffield Wednesday 1–4 Manchester United
Aston Villa won 5–4 on penalties Manchester United won 5–1 on aggregate



Aston Villa had finished runners-up to Manchester United in the league the previous season, but were in poor form going into the League Cup final, having lost their last three games. The bookmakers and national press were predicting that the Villa would be beaten comfortably at Wembley. Manchester United had suffered a slight blip of their own with a couple of draws in their previous league matches and high-profile red cards to Eric Cantona and Peter Schmeichel – but victory in the League Cup was predicted to be the first part of a domestic treble. Alex Ferguson decided to field a full-strength team with the exception of the suspended Schmeichel, who was deputised by former Villa keeper Les Sealey. Villa boss Ron Atkinson decided to field a five-man midfield with Tony Daley and Dalian Atkinson on the flanks and young attacking midfielder Graham Fenton playing in a withdrawn role behind striker Dean Saunders.

The match began with Aston Villa playing a fast counter-attacking game. United saw a lot of the ball, but the Villa defence, marshalled by former Manchester United centre-back Paul McGrath, rendered Cantona anonymous. There was a scare for Villa when Mark Bosnich looked to have brought down Roy Keane outside the box, but the referee waved play on. Aston Villa's only chance in the first quarter of the match had been an inswinging corner from Steve Staunton which was touched over by Sealey. On 25 minutes, however, Andy Townsend played a pass into the feet of Dean Saunders who flicked the ball over the top of United's defence and into the path of Atkinson, who put his side 1–0 up.

In the second half, the pattern of the game remained the same, United sluggish and Villa playing a counter-attacking game. On 70 minutes, Kevin Richardson tackled United substitute Lee Sharpe who looked certain to score. Five minutes later, Villa went down the other end and earned a free kick when Daley was brought down just outside the United box. Richardson swung it in and Saunders stuck a leg out to divert it into the net for Villa's second goal. Mark Hughes pulled a goal back for United with seven minutes remaining and was denied a second just moments later when Bosnich pushed a volley round the post. With time nearly up Villa broke once more, Daley striking the United post with a fantastic shot. The ball fell to Atkinson who hit it goalwards only for the ball to strike Andrei Kanchelskis on the hand. The Russian was to be red carded and could only watch as Dean Saunders converted the resulting penalty to complete the scoring in a 3–1 victory for Aston Villa.

The match was also the last to be covered on the original BBC Radio 5; the station closed down that night, with BBC Radio Five Live launching the following morning.


Aston Villa3–1Manchester United
Atkinson Goal 26'
Saunders Goal 76'90+1' (pen.)
Report Hughes Goal 83'
Aston Villa
Manchester United
GK 13 Australia Mark Bosnich
RB 2 England Earl Barrett
CB 5 Republic of Ireland Paul McGrath
CB 4 England Shaun Teale
LB 3 Republic of Ireland Steve Staunton Substituted off 79'
RM 10 England Dalian Atkinson
CM 6 England Kevin Richardson (c)
CM 14 Republic of Ireland Andy Townsend
LM 11 England Tony Daley
AM 25 England Graham Fenton
CF 9 Wales Dean Saunders
GK 1 England Nigel Spink
DF 17 England Neil Cox Substituted in 79'
MF 7 Republic of Ireland Ray Houghton
England Ron Atkinson
Aston Villa vs Man Utd 1994-03-27
GK 13 England Les Sealey
RB 2 England Paul Parker
CB 4 England Steve Bruce (c) Substituted off 83'
CB 6 England Gary Pallister
LB 3 Republic of Ireland Denis Irwin
RM 14 Russia Andrei Kanchelskis Red card 90'
CM 16 Republic of Ireland Roy Keane
CM 8 England Paul Ince
LM 11 Wales Ryan Giggs Substituted off 68'
CF 10 Wales Mark Hughes
CF 7 France Eric Cantona
GK 25 England Gary Walsh
MF 5 England Lee Sharpe Substituted in 68'
FW 9 Scotland Brian McClair Substituted in 83'
Scotland Alex Ferguson

Alan Hardaker Trophy (Man of the Match)

Match officials

Match rules

  • 90 minutes
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary
  • Match to be replayed if scores still level
  • Three named substitutes, of which two may be used


  1. ^ "Alan Hardaker Trophy Winners". football-league.co.uk. The Football League. 24 February 2013. Archived from the original on 21 April 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b c O'Malley, Peter, ed. (27 March 1994). The Coca-Cola Cup - The Final 1994 - Aston Villa v Manchester United - The Official Matchday Programme. Wembley Stadium. pp. 38–9.

External links

1993–94 in English football

The 1993–94 season was the 114th season of competitive football in England.

Guy Whittingham

Guy Whittingham (born 10 November 1964) is an English former professional footballer and a manager. He was caretaker manager of Football League Two side Portsmouth from November 2012 until April 2013 when he took the role on a permanent basis before being sacked by Portsmouth in November 2013. On 13 December 2013, he was appointed assistant manager at Crawley Town.

As a player, he was a striker from 1988 until 2005, notably in the Premier League for Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday. Having started his career with non-league Yeovil Town he went on to play in the Football League for Portsmouth, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Watford, Peterborough United, Oxford United and Wycombe Wanderers. He amassed over 450 appearances throughout his career.

Neil Cox

Neil James Cox (born 8 October 1971) is an English former professional footballer and manager. A defender capable of playing at centre or right-back, he made over 500 appearances in the Football League during his career and was capped at Under-21 level by England. He began his career at Scunthorpe United as a youth player and was eventually offered a professional contract by the club, breaking into the first-team soon after. In 1991, Cox joined First Division side Aston Villa for a fee of £400,000, going on to make over 50 appearances for the side in all competitions, including playing in the club's victory over Manchester United in the 1994 Football League Cup Final, but struggled to establish himself in the first-team.

In 1994, he joined Middlesbrough, becoming the first player to break the £1 million transfer fee mark for the club. He made over 100 appearances for Middlesbrough, including playing in his second League Cup final in 1997, before moving to Bolton Wanderers in 1997 for £1.5 million. After two seasons at Bolton, Cox joined Watford. After a difficult start with the Hornets, which included being placed on the transfer list, Cox went on to captain the side and made over 200 appearances in all competitions for the club.His final Football League club was then League One outfit Crewe Alexandra. Cox retired from professional football in 2008, going on to become a property developer in Portugal. Cox subsequently returned to the game in 2010 after being appointed manager of Leek Town. When the club had injury concerns Cox registered himself as a player with the league, making 4 appearances. Cox was in charge just one season before resigning for personal reasons. In October 2012, Cox joined Football League Two club AFC Wimbledon as assistant manager to former Watford teammate Neal Ardley. He left with Ardley on 12 November 2018.

Tony Daley

Anthony Mark Daley (born 18 October 1967, in Birmingham) is an English former footballer, who made the vast majority of his appearances for Aston Villa, playing mainly as a winger, well known for his pace.

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